~~Alexander Hamilton to John Laurens, August 15, 1782
A recent and prominent theme in sermons at my church has been the importance of giving thanks to God, and remembering to always have an attitude of gratitude for His promises, blessings, and oversight, in good times, in bad times, and in difficult situations.
I recently maintained on my FFQF post that America is indebted to God and God alone for her existence, and her success. When our politicians eloquently praise the virtues of the people, and laud man's accomplishments in creating our country, and then perhaps give a little credit on the sidelines to God (and they insure that their identification of the Deity is amorphous and undefined -- can't offend anybody, you know), they are reflecting their own ingratitude, as well as the ingratitude of our nation in general. If you challenge that statement, all you have to do is look at the way the nation responds to God's standards, both moral and spiritual.
But I think that even we Christians can fall into ungratefulness; things don't go the way they should, or they way we want them to. We become wrapped up, so to speak, in our little problems, and we forget all about the One who is to be the center of our attention. And furthermore, we miss out on what God has in store for us, if we just humply called upon Him, and waited for His answer, and His provision.
As we are finding out in our investigation of the Scriptures, God intentionally places a great emphasis upon calling upon His name in the time of our troubles, for thanking Him in advance, and for thanking Him after we have seen the answer, taking no credit to ourselves. Here are some passages of Scripture that bring this truth out:
First of all, it tells us that it is because of the choice of men to be ungrateful to God that they have fallen away, and that God has given those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, when they should know better, up to unrighteousness:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who supress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, beause, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man ..."
Next we see the importance of giving God thanks, from the beginning to the end of the day.
It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning,
And Your faithfulness every night ...
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 5:1-4, 18-19
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. ...
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one anoter in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
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